DENVER (AP) — David Lee's season came to a painful end the last time he played in Denver. He put that memory to rest in his return.
Lee had 28 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth straight double-double, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Denver Nuggets 89-81 on Monday night.
Stephen Curry, battling foul trouble much of the night, added 14 points in the first meeting between the teams since the Warriors, as the sixth seed, ousted third-seeded Denver 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs last spring.
Lee tore his right hip flexor in the fourth quarter of the first playoff game, missing the rest of the Warriors' postseason run.
"The last time I played in this building wasn't the greatest result," Lee said. "I got injured, so I wanted to come out tonight, put that behind me and attack the basket early, get any thoughts of that kind of stuff out of the way. I had some success early and I just tried to be consistent throughout the game."
Klay Thompson scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, helping Golden State overcome a fourth-quarter deficit for the fourth time this season and sending the Nuggets to their season-high fourth consecutive loss.
The Warriors also got a strong game from Andre Iguodala, a former Nugget who hit a key 3-pointer late in the game and finished with 12 points while shrugging off the constant boos from the crowd.
"It wasn't that bad," he said. "It's just our day and age in sports. There's so many transactions, and fans are so into it now with the media, being so close to the game, you see it a lot more."
For all the noise and attention over his return, it was the game that Lee put together in his first game back in Denver that made the difference for the Warriors, Iguodala said.
"He went to work for us early to get us our lead and when we hit a little bit of a drought, we went back to him and he kind of got us out of it," Iguodala said. "He's been doing a great job of wracking up those double doubles and being a go-to guy."
Ty Lawson had 16 points to lead Denver, which was outscored 25-15 in the final period. Andre Miller and Timofey Mozgov had 14 points apiece.
"We didn't have a good game," Miller said. "We haven't had a good month. We need better practices. We need to get better when we come back from Christmas. It is always frustrating when you are struggling."